Are you worried someone you love may be addicted to Xanax?
We’ll go over some of the functions of Xanax (also known as alprazolam), some of the side effects and who is susceptible to addiction to this drug.
Xanax is a commonly prescribed drug in the United States and abroad. If a loved one has been prescribed Xanax, there is no need to be alarmed immediately. Many people routinely take medications like Xanax with no issues, as long as they take them as prescribed by their doctors.
However, if your loved one exhibits signs of abuse of the drug, it may be time to intervene.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is often prescribed to help people with insomnia get a good night’s sleep. It can also be given for chronic anxiety or for certain situations.
Most people don’t take Xanax every day. Rather, Xanax is a “take as needed” kind of medication. For example, if you have a fear of flying so severe that it causes panic attacks, you may take Xanax before a flight to keep calm.
Xanax is a drug in the classification of benzodiazepines. These types of medications are sometimes discussed in conjunction with the opioid crisis, as they provide a certain “high” that many people seek.
However, benzodiazepines, sometimes shortened to “benzos,” are “downers” as opposed to “uppers.” This means that they provide sedation rather than a feeling of euphoria or being high.
How Is It Taken?
Most Xanax users take the medication orally in a tablet form. It can be administered intravenously in a hospital setting.
Who Takes It?
Most people who take Xanax are adults, though sometimes teens can be prescribed Xanax.
If taken recreationally, it is often taken by individuals who are in their early 20s, unemployed or going through a tough period in their life. Someone who has a history of drug use is also more likely to use benzos recreationally.
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A Brief History of Xanax
Its patent was created in 1981, and is, therefore, newer than many other benzos. It combats both panic disorder and nausea brought on by chemotherapy. It is also intended for short-term use.
Consequences of Xanax Misuse
It’s important to keep in mind that, while Xanax is a useful medication, it also has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Xanax, like any other medication in which people can become addicted to, should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor.
Effects on the Mind and Body
Like all medication, Xanax does come with side effects. These side effects may be different for each person depending on how their body reacts to the medicine.
Short-Term and Long-Term Health Effects
The medication is not intended for long-term use, therefore official side effects are only for those who have been taking it in the short-term. More common side effects include:
- Feeling dizzy
- Feeling tired or drowsy
- Feeling irritated or irritable
- Feeling shaky or unsteady
- A loss of interest or loss of pleasure in activities
- Feeling very relaxed or feeling calm.
Other people may experience, though it is less common:
- Abdominal pain
- Blurred vision
- Changes in behavior
- The feeling of “bugs” crawling on them
- Loss of voice
- Swollen joints
- Sore throat
If you or your loved one experience side effects that are too overwhelming, consult your doctor.
If taken in the long-term, this medication can cause dependence. It may also cause an individual to need to take more and more medication to make it continue working, which is known as “tolerance.”
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Using Xanax With Other Drugs
What kinds of drugs people mix with Xanax depends on if they’re taking it recreationally or as prescribed. Let’s take a closer look.
Which Drugs Are Commonly Used With Xanax?
There are no drugs that are commonly used with Xanax. However, individuals may take medication that help them control or mitigate anxiety in the long-term.
There are a few medications Xanax cannot be used with. It is dangerous to mix with certain types of anesthesia, as well as other hypnotics and benzos.
Mixing Xanax with alcohol or other drugs that have not been prescribed can result in overdose or death. This can become an emergency situation quickly. As such, if you or a loved one takes Xanax, it is important you follow your doctor’s instructions and let any doctor treating you know if you take the medication.
Who Can Become Addicted to Xanax?
Nearly half of Americans say they have a family member or close friend with an addiction. As such, it is incredibly common, as is a loved one becoming addicted to a medication they have been prescribed.
Anyone can become addicted to Xanax, especially those who have been prescribed the medication. But, there are a few populations that are more susceptible to becoming dependent on the medication.
Individuals in their early 20s are more prone to addiction than any other age group. However, it should be noted that anyone can become an addict at any age. Even elderly individuals can become addicted to Xanax, depending on their situation.
Those who live in poverty and are unemployed are extremely likely to become addicted to Xanax, as it has a numbing and calming effect. Individuals who may be on high alert due to their living situation may also become addicted, as the medication can help them come with their circumstances.
People going through a rough patch in their lives or are in high-stress situations are also much more prone to becoming addicted to Xanax. Again, this is due to the medication’s calming effect.
Lastly, individuals with a history of addiction are much more susceptible to becoming addicted than those who have not had the same history. This is because people who have historically used drugs in order to cope with stress in their lives may do so again if the opportunity presents itself.
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How Do I Know If Someone I Love is Addicted to Xanax?
If someone you love has been prescribed Xanax, that isn’t necessarily a warning sign in itself. Many people use Xanax as the doctor has instructed and do not have any problems with it.
Signs to look for include becoming irritable, frequently “losing” their medicine so that they need to have a refill, “doctor shopping” (or going to several doctors at once asking for Xanax). If the person’s anxiety symptoms or insomnia seem to be getting better, but they continue taking Xanax, this is also worrying. Someone who takes their Xanax “just in case” may be an addict.
People who buy Xanax from the Internet or others who have been prescribed the medication may also have an addiction. The only Xanax you or your loved one should take is the Xanax prescribed by your doctors.